Girl, 4, Had Just a Kernel of Corn in Her Stomach at Time of Death: ME

Email a Friend

The 4-year-old girl at the center of a murder trial had nothing but a kernel of corn in her stomach at the time of her death and more than 70 injuries to her body and head, Brooklyn's deputy chief medical examiner testified in court Thursday.

Marchella Brett-Pierce died of child abuse syndrome, with acute drug poisoning, blunt impact injuries, malnutrition and dehydration,  according to Stephen DeRoux, Deputy Chief Medical Examiner for Brooklyn, who testified in Brooklyn Supreme Court.

"Overall, she appeared very, very thin," Deroux, said of the child, who weighed only 18 pounds at the time of her death. 

Carlotta Brett-Pierce is charged with the 2010 murder of her 4-year-old daughter. Loretta Brett, the child's maternal grandmother, is charged with manslaughter. Both women have pleaded not guilty.

During the medical examiner’s testimony, jurors saw graphic images of Marchella’s ribs protruding her skin, her concave abdomen, multiple abrasions and contusions on her head and body, as well as ligature marks around her ankles.

Prosecutors allege that Marchella was bound to her grandmother’s bed from April or May 2010 until she died in September.

DeRoux also testified that Marchella had 30 times higher dosage of Benadryl and 60 times higher dosage of Claritin in her blood than the recommended dosages for adults.

The trial continues on Friday.